Discrimination for sexual orientation

1 April 2010

The Committee of Ministers of Council of Europe adopted a Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5 to Member States on Measures to Combat Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.  

The Recommendation recognizes that international human rights standards should be applied to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons and contains specific measures for Member States on how they should improve their legislation, policies, and practices to address discrimination against LGBT people.

It specifically addresses the freedom of association issues, stating that "Member States should take appropriate measures to ensure that the right to freedom of association can be effectively enjoyed without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity; in particular, discriminatory administrative procedures, including excessive formalities for the registration and practical functioning of associations, should be prevented and removed; measures should also be taken to prevent the abuse of legal and administrative provisions, such as those related to restrictions based on public health, public morality and public order."

The Recommendation also provides that CSOs should not be discriminated against on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity when applying for funding, and that they should be consulted when developing measures which affect their constituencies.  The Recommendation further provides that states should effectively protect defenders of human rights of LGBT persons against hostility and aggression to which they may be exposed in order to enable them to freely carry out their activities.

Other areas it addressed include:

  • hate crime and hate speech;
  • freedom of expression and peaceful assembly;
  • right to respect for private and family life;
  • employment;
  • education;
  • health;
  • housing;
  • sports;
  • right to seek asylum.